Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Brazil’s outgoing president, said he might run for president again some day, Folha de S. Paulo newspaper reported, a revelation that could weaken his chosen successor.
Lula da Silva, who will leave office on January 1 with a popularity rating over 80% thanks to Brazil’s economic boom, was forbidden by Brazil’s Constitution from running for a third consecutive presidential term this year.
Asked in a TV interview if he might run for president again in the future, Lula replied: “I can’t say no, because I’m still alive. I’m honorary president of a party, I’m a born politician, I have built extraordinary political relationships.”
Though Lula, 65, has never ruled out running again, it was his most explicit statement to date that he could be a candidate again in 2014 or later.
Seemingly aware his statements would cause a stir, Lula told the interviewer: “I’m a little afraid that tomorrow somebody will see your interview and say that Lula said he could be a candidate (again).”
Still, he continued to discuss the possibility, concluding: “We’re going to work for Dilma (Rousseff) to have a good government, and when the moment arrives, we’ll see what happens.”
In a different interview the president’s secretary and close friend Gilberto Carvalho made the suggestion, but conditioned it to difficulties the ruling party might have in 2014 in remaining in office.
“I think Lula will examine the situation, If Dilma makes a good government it is obvious she will run for re-election. If there are difficulties and Lula could be the solution to the problems, he could be candidate in 2014”, said Carvalho.
Asked if that would not dent into his unbelievable support, 87% after eight years in office Carvalho said “that is a risk, but Lula would return in a very favorable situation or in a very necessary situation”.
Carvalho confirmed Lula is not interested in an international organization post and is preparing to work with his own center “with a university such as the Federal University of ABC, where his home is located and in projects linked to Africa”.
According to a DataFolha public opinion poll, Lula leaves office on January first with a 83% approval rating, a record for any president in the country after the end of the military dictatorship.
The nationwide poll of 11,281 people was conducted November 17 to 19 and has a margin of error of two percentage points, the newspaper said.